From Chair Clayton’s speech yesterday:
Since the April 2018 proposal, we have engaged with Main Street investors across the United States to discuss their experiences. SEC staff organized a series of seven roundtables around the country, providing Main Street investors an opportunity to speak directly with me, my fellow Commissioners and senior SEC staff—all in an effort to improve the proposed rules. It is clear, based on these discussions, that we have the right perspective, namely, that the core obligations of investment professionals—and mandatory plain language disclosures—should match reasonable investor expectations.
The efforts of the SEC staff to deliver for Main Street investors in this important area have been exemplary. In addition to the investor roundtables, we launched a new webpage where investors can view samples of the proposed disclosure form and submit feedback. The SEC’s Office of the Investor Advocate engaged the RAND Corporation to conduct investor testing of the proposed disclosure form and has made the report available for review and public comment. Our staff has been carefully reviewing all of this information, and the more than 6,000 comment letters, as they work diligently to develop final recommendations.
Bloomberg Law has reported on a speech by SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson delivered earlier today in New York. He reportedly said, in the context of passive funds, “Investors do not get nearly enough usable information about how their money is being voted, and because of that, they cannot adequately hold those fund managers accountable for how they vote in those elections.” He suggested the SEC may want to consider whether more/different disclosure on proxy voting is necessary.
The DOL rule is dead, but advisers giving advice on moving 401(k) funds to individual retirement accounts are nervous because they're trying to meet regulators' expectations and possible changes under a new SEC advice rule.